NHS will meet cost of German surgery

RUSHDEN, Zac Knighton,7,  spending Christmas at home before his surgery for cancer in the new year 'Tuesday, 20 December 2011
RUSHDEN, Zac Knighton,7, spending Christmas at home before his surgery for cancer in the new year 'Tuesday, 20 December 2011

A seven-year-old cancer patient who was flown to Germany for an operation after his surgery in this country was postponed will have the treatment paid for by the NHS.

The Evening Telegraph broke the news to Zac Knighton-Smith’s family on Monday night before revealing it on the newspaper’s website.

Zac, of Rushden, who has acute neuroblastoma, had the operation last week to remove tumours, close to blood vessels supplying major organs, from his abdomen.

His family hope to get the results of his scans this week.

His grandmother June Knighton said: “The treatment in Germany will have cost between 8,000 and 10,000 Euros and it takes pressure off us to know the NHS is going to pay for this.

“We’re grateful to the media and our MP Peter Bone for raising this issue in Parliament – I don’t think we would have got this without him.

“Zac’s doing well. He doesn’t need to have a wheelchair any more although he does have to walk slowly. His surgeon is still pleased with his progress and he should be flying home on Friday.”

Mr Bone, who represents Rushden and Wellingborough, said: “I welcome the NHS’s decision to pay for Zac’s latest treatment in Germany. All that matters now is that Zac makes a full recovery. He’s a courageous little boy and he’s in our thoughts and prayers.”

Once he recovers from the operation Zac will undergo more specialist relapse chemotherapy, hopefully in this country.

He will return to a German cancer clinic where he will receive treatment to clear his body of the poisons connected to the chemotherapy and build his immune system up.

His family need to raise about £20,000 for these trips and treatment and are starting with a charity auction. If you can provide a venue or offer any help call 01933 460773 or email junian65@aol.com.